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In re Ozug

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 6, 2014

In re the Marriage of: FRANK J. OZUG, Appellant-Respondent,
v.
KAREN S. OZUG, Appellee-Petitioner

APPEAL FROM THE LAKE CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Michael A. Sarafin, Special Judge. Cause No. 45C01-1112-DR-1023.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: DEBRA LYNCH DUBOVICH, REVA J. HILL, Levy & Dubovich, Merrillville, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: MELISSA L. ROHRER, Merrillville, Indiana; R. BRIAN WOODWARD, Woodward & Blaskovich, LLP, Merrillville, Indiana.

KIRSCH, Judge. FRIEDLANDER, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 828

KIRSCH, Judge.

Frank J. Ozug (" Husband" ) appeals the trial court's decree of dissolution (" the Decree" ), claiming that it was error to award Karen S. Ozug (" Wife" ) spousal maintenance despite a finding that there was no credible evidence of Wife's medical condition and that it was error to award Wife more than 50% of the marital estate. Wife cross-appeals, arguing that Husband's notice of appeal was not timely filed.

We vacate and remand.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Husband and Wife were married on June 26, 1992. The parties have two children as a result of their marriage, who were eighteen and nineteen years of age at the time of the dissolution. Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on December 16, 2011. After a failed attempt at mediation, the parties agreed to binding arbitration. The arbitration proceeding was held on March 4, 2013, and the arbitrator filed written findings and conclusions of law with the trial court on April 12, 2013. The trial court accepted the findings and entered them as the final Decree.

About ten years prior to the dissolution, Wife inherited money from her parents, and the money was placed in various joint accounts in both parties' names. When the parties separated, Wife withdrew at least $194,830.28 from those joint accounts. Wife attempted to secret away this money upon the separation of the parties until the time of the final arbitration. Because the fund had originated from her inheritance, Wife requested a deviation from the statutory presumption of an equal distribution of the personal property, which was denied in the Decree. Appellant's App . at 22.

Wife requested spousal maintenance due to alleged health issues and testified at arbitration to having a heart condition, asthma, and other health issues for which she was required to take prescription medications. It was found that there was no credible evidence presented by Wife to support her allegations of these conditions or that she had been prescribed medications for the conditions. Id. at 23. However, Husband was ordered to pay spousal maintenance in the form of continuing health care coverage for Wife for a period of 365 days from the date of the Decree, which was based on the disparity in the earning ability of the parties, the duration of the marriage, Wife's inability to support herself, and Wife's inability to obtain health insurance coverage for at least one year. Id. at 24.

Page 829

At the time of the arbitration, the parties owed over $47,000.00 in credit card debt. Husband was ordered to be solely responsible for this debt. Id. at 19. ...


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